Getting into a car crash or collision of some sort is stressful enough without having to worry about finding the right auto body shop to repair your vehicle. Unfortunately, that search can be one of the most overwhelming parts of dealing with the aftermath of a collision. Your vehicle is likely very important to you, so it’s an important decision when it comes to choosing a collision repair shop that takes excellent care of your vehicle and returns it to you in safe, driveable, and pristine condition. Finding a collision repair shop in your area that you can trust can be a lengthy and overwhelming process, and many drivers have no idea how to look for signs of a trustworthy local auto body shop.
If your vehicle is in need of repairs—or if you just want to make sure you’re prepared for any future repairs it may need—keep reading to learn 5 top tips for choosing the right collision repair shop to get the best results for your vehicle at the lowest price.
Get Personal Recommendations
Getting personal, word-of-mouth recommendations for collision repair shops in your area is one of the best ways to find a trustworthy and affordable local auto body shop that will repair your car safely and ethically and return it to its original condition at an affordable price.
Ask family and friends for recommendations. Almost every driver has had to deal with needing vehicle repairs at some point or another, so most drivers will have recommendations on where you should—or where you shouldn’t—go to get your vehicle repaired locally.
You can also post on your own personal social media accounts or in local social media groups for your community to ask for personal recommendations for collision repair shops in your area.
Read Online Reviews
Before you make a decision about which collision repair shop to choose for your vehicle, get online and read reviews for multiple different repair shops on platforms like Yelp, Facebook, Google My Business, and more.
There’s no need to write off a repair shop if they have a few scattered negative reviews. However, if a collision repair shop’s rating is exceptionally low or if the majority of the negative reviews they do have complaints about the same patterns of problems, you might want to look elsewhere for your vehicle repairs.
Get Multiple Estimates
Estimates for the same repairs or part replacements can vary widely depending on the collision repair shop, so it’s important to get estimates from multiple shops.
When you do get estimates for services at collision repair shops, don’t settle for verbal estimates. Insist on getting written estimates as well. You can use written estimates as leverage if a repair shop attempts to charge you significantly more money than they originally quoted for your vehicle’s repairs.
If a collision repair shop refuses to provide you with a written estimate for the repair services your vehicle needs, that’s a red flag that suggests hidden fees and means you should probably look elsewhere for your vehicle’s repair needs.
Check for Experience
Experience means a lot when it comes to collision repair shops. It is usually a better bet to take your vehicle to get repaired at an auto body shop with 20 years of experience than a brand-new shop with technicians that might only have a year or two of experience performing vehicle repairs.
It is also a bonus if a collision repair shop is a certified collision center for various vehicle makes and models. When you are shopping around to find a collision repair shop, check the shops’ websites. If they have any notable certifications, they will likely display them prominently on their website.
Ask About Warranties
Most trustworthy collision repair shops offer some type of warranty on the repairs they perform on your vehicle. Offering warranties is a good sign that a collision repair shop actually cares about the satisfaction of their customers and takes pride in the quality of their technicians’ work.
If a collision repair shop does not offer any warranties on the services they perform for your vehicle, that means you won’t have any protection if something goes wrong with your vehicle’s repairs. It is always a good idea to take your business to a collision repair shop that offers written, signed warranties on the repair and part replacement services they perform.